With October being Physical Therapy Month we thought it important to remind patients about how critical preoperative physical therapy can be.
In 2018, I wrote an article regarding regional interdependence in the human musculoskeletal system. You can read that article here: Regional Interdependence, The Right Hip’s Connected to the Left Knee .
The concept is that seemingly unrelated impairments in a remote anatomical region may contribute to or be associated to a patient’s primary complaint.
With this in mind, it makes sense to preoperatively prepare for surgery addressing those components that may affect the outcome of the surgery itself. One example of this that stands out for me is knee surgery. There is so much evidence of how the hip affects the knee. Mostly by controlling internal rotation and thus helping knee function biomechanically. It makes sense to have a very strong core and hip complex going into surgery. Also, as much muscle length in hamstrings, hip flexors and heel cords. These are tonic muscles and will play into the response of the surgery itself and pain.
So, my contention is that a preoperative program for range of motion, stretching, neuromuscular reeducation, and strengthening makes sense to enhance outcomes.
PTs are very equipped to assess your predisposition and prescribe an exercise program for your condition, whether it be shoulder, knee or low back. Really, any body part.
So, asking your surgeon about having PT before surgery seems logical and for sure, could not hurt.
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